Gerald Butler (author)

Gerald Butler (July 31, 1907 – February 1, 1988) was an English crime, mystery, thriller and pulp writer and screenwriter.[1] He was born on July 31, 1907 and worked as a chemist prior to becoming a novelist. He later worked as a director of an advertising firm.[2] He was sometimes referred to as the "English James M. Cain".[3][4]

Gerald Butler
BornGerald Alfred Butler
(1907-07-31)July 31, 1907
England
DiedFebruary 1, 1988(1988-02-01) (aged 80)
Eastbourne, East Sussex, England, UK
OccupationNovelist, screenwriter, chemist
NationalityEnglish
Period1940–1972
GenreCrime, thriller, and mystery

He was thirty-three years old when his first novel, Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, was published in 1940 by Jarrolds Publishing. Kiss the Blood Off My Hands became a best-seller and by 1945, it had sold over 232,000 copies in England alone (all during war-time).[5][6] In 1945, American publishers Farrar & Rinehart, were the first to publish one of Butler's novels outside of England. Their first release of Butler's work was his 1943 novel, Their Rainbow Had Black Edges, issued under the title Dark Rainbow.[7] Farrar & Rinehart went on to publish four more of his novels for the American market, between 1946 and 1951.

Following the publication of his first four novels, Eagle-Lion Films bought the film rights to Kiss the Blood Off My Hands in 1946, hoping to turn it into a Robert Donat film.[8] After the option expired, the novel's film rights were sold to actor-turned-producer Burt Lancaster and his business partner Harold Hecht in mid-1947. The film was the first project for Lancaster's new production company, Norma Productions, and hit the screens in October 1948. The film starred Joan Fontaine, Burt Lancaster and Robert Newton and was released in some markets under the names The Unafraid or Blood on My Hands, due to censor issues.

Meanwhile, producer/director Mario Zampi approached Butler in 1947 to collaborate on a film noir thriller, The Fatal Night. Butler adapted Michael Arlen's famous short story, The Gentleman From America into a screenplay for the film which was released in April 1948.[9] Butler and Zampi collaborated again a year later for the Zampi-produced Third Time Lucky, Butler's screen adaptation of his own novel They Cracked Her Glass Slipper. The film was released in January 1949 and was directed by Gordon Parry.[10]

A third Butler novel was turned into a film, Mad with Much Heart, released as On Dangerous Ground. It starred Ida Lupino (who was also an uncredited director) and Robert Ryan and was directed by Nicholas Ray.[11] This last film adaption was released in 1951, the same year that Butler's sixth novel, Blow Hot, Blow Cold, was published. He withdrew from the writing industry for nearly twenty years before returning with his last novel, There Is a Death, Elizabeth, published in 1972. He died sixteen years later.

Bibliography

  • Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1940)
  • They Cracked Her Glass Slipper (1941)
  • Their Rainbow Had Black Edges (1943)
  • Mad with Much Heart (1945)
  • Slippery Hitch (1946)
  • Blow Hot, Blow Cold (1951)
  • There Is a Death, Elizabeth (1972)

Filmography

Title Year Credited as
Original Story Screenwriter
The Fatal Night 1948 Yes
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands 1948 Yes
Third Time Lucky 1949 Yes Yes
On Dangerous Ground 1951 Yes

Publication history

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands

  • 1940 Jarrolds Publishing, England as a hardcover edition
  • 1940 Nicholson and Watson, England as a hardcover edition
  • 1946 Farrar & Rinehart, USA as a hardcover edition
  • 1946 Presses de la Cité, France as a hardcover, under the title "Les Mains Pures", translated in French by Jeanne Fournier-Pargoire (part of the "Cosmopolis" series)
  • 1946 Dell Publishing, USA as a paperback edition (catalog Dell 197)
  • 1949 Dell Publishing, USA as a paperback edition, under the title "The Unafraid [Kiss the Blood Off My Hands]" (catalog Dell 242)
  • 1950 Presses de la Cité, France as a paperback edition, under the title "Du Sang Sur Tes Mains", translated in French by Jean Weil (part of the "Un mystère" series, catalog 4)
  • 1961 Consol Books, England, as a paperback edition
  • 1961 World Distributors, England as a paperback edition
  • 1980 Presses de la Cité, France as a paperback edition, under the title "Du Sang Sur Tes Mains", translated in French by Jean Weil (part of the "Classiques du roman policier" series, catalog 16)
  • 1987 Carroll & Graf Publishers, USA as a paperback edition
  • 1997 Éditions Omnibus, France as a paperback, part of the book "Polar années cinquante"

They Cracked Her Glass Slipper

  • 1941 Jarrolds Publishing, England as a hardcover edition
  • 1947 Éditions du Bateau ivre, France as a hardcover, under the title "Cendrillon Perd Au Jeu", translated by Jacqueline Richard (part of the "Climats" series)

Their Rainbow Had Black Edges

Mad with Much Heart

  • 1945 Jarrolds Publishing, England as a hardcover edition
  • 1946 Farrar & Rinehart, USA as a hardcover edition
  • 1947 Éditions Universitaires, France as a hardcover, under the title "Le Cœur et l'Esprit" translated by Henri Richard (part of the "Univers" series, catalog 14)
  • 1952 Lion Books, USA as a paperback edition, under the title "The Lurking Man" (catalog 81)
  • 1957 Albatross Books, Germany as a paperback edition

Slippery Hitch

Blow Hot, Blow Cold

  • 1951 Jarrolds Publishing, England as a hardcover edition
  • 1951 Farrar & Rinehart, USA as a hardcover edition
  • 1953 Dell Publishing, USA as a paperback edition (catalog Dell 726)
  • 1960 Digit Books, USA as a paperback edition, under the title "Choice of Two Women" (catalog R381)

There Is a Death, Elizabeth

  • 1972 Robert Hale and Company, England as a hardcover edition
  • 1974 Desch, Germany as a paperback edition, under the title "Der Tod Kommt, Elisabeth" translated by Luise Däbritz

References

  1. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0124926/?ref_=tt_ov_wr Gerald Butler, IMDB Credits
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20160509181744/http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/d2IAAOSw9N1Vv~e-/s-l1600.jpg Back cover of Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, Rinehart Publishing, 1946
  3. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/gerald-butler-3/mad-with-much-heart "Mad With Much Heart Review" Kirkus Reviews
  4. https://archive.org/details/bookreviewdigest029766mbp "The Book Review Digest", The H. W. Wilson Company, 1947
  5. https://web.archive.org/web/20160509181744/http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/d2IAAOSw9N1Vv~e-/s-l1600.jpg Back cover of Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, Rinehart Publishing, 1946
  6. http://www.royalbooks.com/pages/books/136016/gerald-butler/mad-with-much-heart-first-uk-edition Book cover of Mad with Much Heart, Jarrolds, first publishing.
  7. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=sP8pAAAAIBAJ&sjid=SGgFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1079%2C4816303 "Dark Rainbow", The Lewiston Daily Sun, November 30th 1945
  8. http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/80430/Kiss-the-Blood-Off-My-Hands/notes.html Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, Notes, Turner Classic Movies
  9. https://www.allmovie.com/movie/alfred-hitchcock-presents-the-gentleman-from-america-v348299%5B%5D The Gentleman From America filmed versions, All Movie
  10. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040874/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm Third Time Lucky, IMDB
  11. http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/85554/On-Dangerous-Ground/ On Dangerous Ground, Turner Classic Movies
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